Wall’s double sinks Palace

Alex Wall scores for Town against Crystal PalaceAlex Wall scores for Town against Crystal Palace
Alex Wall scores for Town against Crystal Palace
An eye-catching display from Alex Wall saw Hatters defeat Premier League side Crystal Palace 3-2 in a development game at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

The forward scored twice, one from the penalty spot, and gave watching manager John Still plenty to consider ahead of Saturday’s Skrill Premier trip to Welling.

Hatters, who had won promotion to the Football League last night, named a strong side for the clash.

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The likes of Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, Solomon Taiwo, Jon Shaw and Anthony Charles all started, while Andy Mangan had a run out too, with the visitors selecting a youthful XI.

Wall came close early on after linking up well, as his low shot was easy for the keeper.

Town then took the lead on 16 minutes when defender Alex Lacey showed great bravery to head home Taiwo’s delightful free kick.

The second arrived shortly afterwards as after a good passing move, Wall’s left footed effort took a cruel deflection to loop over the helpless keeper.

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Lacey then gave away the tamest of penalties for clipping a Palace forward as he shaped to shoot, with the spotkick expertly converted past Elliot Justham.

Mangan almost had a chance after Shaw’s lovely touch, but the ball got stuck under his feet and Palace recovered.

Justham made a superb save to keep his side in front, as Wall then broke clear at the other end and tumbled under a challenge in the box to win Hatters a penalty.

The striker took it himself and absolutely hammered it home to make it 3-1.

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After the break, Palace immediately made it 3-2 from the edge of the box, while a great sliding challenge from Lacey prevented an equaliser.

Another Wall blast from a free kick bulldozed into the wall, before Kane Ferdinand volleyed narrowly wide.

Lacey almost had his second too, just missing the target from a another dangerous Taiwo delivery.

Youngsters Zane Banton and Ian Rees were introduced just after the hour and Rees almost scored straight away, with a drive deflected wide.

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Wall, who was having a constant menace all afternoon, sent another effort at the keeper, while Jernade Meade was also close as Town were good value for the win.

Hatters: Justham, Parry, Meade, Lacey, Charles, Ferdinand, Taiwo, Ruddock Mpanzu (Rees 65), Mangan (Martin 65), Shaw (Banton 65), Wall.

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